Expensive Metal Parking Lot
Olie Kolzig made a promise this afternoon.
"I'll tell you what," he brashly said. "We'll definitely be the most improved parking lot in the league."
Last year the Caps' lot included some pickups, some Ford Explorers, and "even a Volkswagen Cabriolet that was on its last legs," Kolzig said. (Read about Bryan Muir's car here.)
All that's changed, and the message boards have been buzzing about the cars streaming into the AIH parking lot this month. New addition Donald Brashear is rocking a black Lamborghini Gallardo. Dainius Zubrus has a new Porsche. Kolzig himself got a black Maserati Quattroporte last spring. Matt Bradley has a BMW M3, Ben Clymer has an M5, and Alex Ovechkin just got an M6. Steve Eminger has a 750 with some nice rims that Clymer, in an upset, thinks is among the nicest cars in the lot. Jamie Heward also has a 750. Brian Sutherby left his Escalade at home and reportedly plans to buy a Mercedes CLS 500. Richard Zednik has an Audi A8.
(When you wander through the lot, by the way, you can sort of tell when you get to the players' area; suddenly the windows are tinted and the license plates are from Maine, Alberta, and Beautiful British Columbia.)
(Wet blanket/good soul alert: In the midst of this discussion, Clymer suddenly grew worried that publicity about these cars would make the Caps look presumptuous or vain. He kept telling me how very lucky and very fortunate NHL players are to be able to afford such cars, and how they all realize that. He said he used to drive a Ford Focus "the color of a manila envelope--just terrible," and that his buddies back home in Minnesota are just getting their first nice cars, etc. etc.)
Anyhow, Brashear. About five years ago when he was playing in Montreal he went into a Ferrari dealership, but there was a waiting list for everything. So he went into a Lamborghini dealer and "fell in love." His first Lambo was a yellow Diablo (price tag: about $300,000). When he was driving on the freeway other drivers would crowd around and stare; one behind, one in front, one on the side, one pulling out a camera and taking pictures. Police would pull him over just to tell him he had a nice car, "and I'm like, 'Thanks for wasting my time,' you know?" he said
"It was a little bit too much attention; I was getting sick of it," he said. "It was a pain in the [bleep]."
Anyhow, the Gallardo offered nearly as much horsepower (520 instead of 560), and it only cost $180,000 ("That's great," Clymer said, "I wish I could say my car "only" cost $180,000."), so Brashear made the switch.
Olie used to drive a Mercedes S500; "like driving a La-Z-Boy," he said. Then he saw the Maserati. His Quattroporte has a couple video monitors and a DVD player in the back for the kids, and he insists it's "still a family-type sedan," although he's bumping the horsepower up to 490 to give it a little more growl.
The NHL, he said, is slowly catching up to other pro leagues in the luxury car department. And the Caps, he said, are still far from being the league leaders, but they're making progress. Top-third, maybe.
"But we are definitely the most improved," he said. "We're not the bottom dwellers any more."
(If any NHL fans were drawn to this site by the discussion of Caps Cars, I'm seeking an invite to my first fantasy hockey league and, most likely, a technical advisor/director of player personnel., plus several advance scouts. I swear this is the last time I'll ask about this, but I'm using a ThinkPad from the Paleolithic Era and I can't check my e-mail just now. If you've got a league opening or could volunteer as my director of player personnel, e-mail me here.)
September 19, 2006; 3:40 PM ET
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